“Owning a piece of the Harry Winston legacy is an opportunity that no true jewelry connoisseur can pass by…”

The Harry Winston name is synonymous with luxury jewelry and timepieces. Founded in 1932 by the man of the same name, Harry Winston is now known as one of the finest jewelry manufacturers not only in the entire country, but also in the world.

Considering adding a Harry Winston piece to your collection? First, learn the history behind this prestigious brand.

From Humble Beginnings

Of course, the Harry Winston brand all began with Harry Winston, born in 1896 in New York City (where the Harry Winston headquarters is also based). While the Winston family was made up of immigrants and wealthy by no means, Harry Winston’s father was a jeweler, with a small shop, which exposed young Harry to the business from an early age.

Harry Winston quickly showed an affinity for the jewelry business, making his first successful gem purchase as an adolescent. He pays .50 cents for an emerald that’s worth $800, spotting a rare and precious stone where other jewelers only saw a piece of green glass. Twelve years later, Winston opened the very first iteration of his soon-to-be world-famous brand, The Premier Diamond Company, on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. In 1932, The Premier Diamond Company became Harry Winston, Inc., as Winston finally builds up enough of a reputation to begin selling pieces under his own name.

The Harry Winston brand would only grow from there. In the 1940s, it gained its first Hollywood connection, which it still maintains to this day; Harry Winston would become the first jewelry brand to lend diamonds to actresses for awards shows. In the same decade, Harry Winston expanded its clientele from Hollywood royalty to actual royalty, offering pieces to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. By the 1950s, Harry Winston would own the world’s second-largest collection of historic jewels, coming in second only to the British royal family, and the brand would go international, opening salons in Geneva and Paris.

After Harry Winston’s death in the 1970s, his two sons took over the brand, taking the name to the watch business and expanding its celebrity appeal. The brand also opened several new salons around the world, including in Asia.

A Game of Acquisitions

Part of the Harry Winston brand’s appeal is its continual acquisition of rare or record-breaking diamonds and other gemstones, something the brand has focused on since its infancy — and, of course, something Winston himself focused on even as a child.

One of the brand’s first acquisitions, in 1935, was the Jonker Diamond, a 726-carat rough diamond that resulted in 12 stones, including a 125-carat diamond. The Stotesbury Emerald, a 34.40-carat, hexagon Colombian emerald, followed in 1943. One of Harry Winston’s most famous acquisitions was that of the Hope Diamond, purchased in 1949 and then donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958.

More recently, the brand acquired a 101.73-carat diamond, christened the Winston Legacy Diamond and called “the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction” by Christie’s. In 2014, the brand purchased a 13.22-carat fancy vivid blue diamond at auction, and named it the Winston Blue. It would be followed by an 18.96-carat pink diamond named the Winston Pink Legacy Diamond.

A Reputation for Remarkable Designs

But beyond a reputation for acquiring remarkable gemstones, amazingly-sized diamonds and breathtaking estate collections, Harry Winston also gained a reputation for its unique designs over the decades. At the time of the brand’s founding, no other jeweler was producing designs that highlighted a gemstone’s beauty and elegance in quite the same way; in fact, most designers at the time were focusing on how to make diamonds fit into pre-existing settings. Winston went the other way, creating settings to fit a particular diamond’s or gemstone’s individual brilliance.

A significant design for the entire jewelry industry was Winston’s development of the brand’s signature clustering technique. Clustering diamonds together, a piece would essentially be able to catch and reflect light at every single angle, allowing a diamond piece of jewelry to glimmer and shine no matter how one looked at it.

The Harry Winston Brand Today

Today, the Harry Winston brand is overseen via its parent company, the Swiss Swatch Group, but still, Harry Winston is known as the King of Diamonds, while Harry Winston, Inc., is known as the Jeweler to the Stars. Some of the most beloved fashion icons in history have worn Harry Winston pieces, from Elizabeth Taylor, who sported the 69-carat, pear-shaped Taylor-Burton diamond, renamed in honor of her marriage to Richard Burton, to Jacqueline Kennedy, who wore the Lesotho III ring after her engagement to Aristotle Onassis.

Today, Harry Winston offers both fine jewelry (luxury pieces that, while still beautiful, are also more common and likely to be spotted among many luxury jewelry collections) and high jewelry (pieces that are most likely to hold their value over decades or centuries, and that you’re not going to spot sitting out on the showroom floor — these are appointment-only collections).

Whatever your preference, Harry Winston regularly announces new pieces and exclusive designs. Most recently, in May 2021, Harry Winston introduced its Winston with Love collection, featuring nearly 40 made-by-hand pieces split over four themes correlating with the four letters of “love” — Winston Light, Winston Obsession, Winston Vow and Winston Eternal. In February 2021, Harry Winston introduced a Year of the Ox rose gold timepiece as an addition to its Premier collection and, late last year, the Winston Kaleidoscope Collection came to light, with dazzling displays of colors and symmetrical motifs reminiscent of a kaleidoscope.

Harry Winston at La Maison Yamron

Channel the magnificence of the Stotesbury Emerald with this Harry Winston Colombian emerald and diamond platinum ring, featuring a 6.81-carat round Colombian emerald. For a more minimalist look, one might consider the Harry Winston platinum 18KYG, fancy intense yellow diamond and diamond necklace, or the Harry Winston diamond and sapphire line bracelet.

Yamron also offers Harry Winston timepieces for both men and women, including the rugged Harry Winston Ocean Sport Chronograph timepiece with its 44 mm Zalium case, rotating bezel, black skeleton dial, automatic chronograph movement, 42 hours of power reserve and black rubber strap. The timepiece is water resistant up to depths of 200 meters. For something more delicate and feminine, there’s the Harry Winston Avenue Classic Cherry Blossom timepiece.

Explore the Harry Winston Collections at La Maison Yamron

Add a piece of the remarkable Harry Winston legacy to your jewelry collection. Whether you collect timepieces or fine jewelry, or you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, the Harry Winston brand is sure to have something perfectly suited to your tastes — and the jewelers at Yamron can help you find it.

From exclusive fine pieces to well-loved and reputable pre-owned offerings, explore them all at the La Maison Yamron showroom in Naples. Schedule a consultation or drop in. All Harry Winston pieces are priced at request. For inquiries, call us at 239-592-7707 or email contact@yamron.com.